With continuing border closures and lockdowns rampant, stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns pose a huge threat to society.
The next few months will see interest on the topic of mental health peak with R U OK? Day on 9 September, followed by Mental Health Month in October and World Mental Health Day on October 10. These dates provide an opportunity to spark important conversations, increase awareness around Mental Health and provide teams and individuals with strategies to cope with the ongoing impact of the pandemic on wellbeing.
We've selected a list of exceptional Australians who specialise in mental health, overcoming trauma and stress on a professional level, as well as some who have a lived experience overcoming adversity. These speakers will ignite conversations and drive real positive change in your school, organisation and personal life.
Nick Bracks has spent the last decade as a passionate advocate for mental health issues, speaking at some of Australia’s largest organisations.
His candid story recounts his mental health struggles since age 11, including a particularly difficult period when injury forced an early end to his dream career as a professional athlete.
His goal is to be part of changing the way we view mental health. By formally educating children about mental health through schooling we can create a healthier and more sustainable future.
Get in touch about Nick Bracks
Growing up, Lucy Thomas always figured that “someone should really do something about bullying.” Then she realised: I am that someone.
After building her career tackling bullying, Lucy’s life was fundamentally changed when she became the target of an extended pattern of bullying herself. Instead of hiding away, Lucy took this as a call to connect with even young Aussies and launch herself into advocating for her LGBTIQA+ community. Lucy has since wrapped these personal learnings into her widely received TEDx talk, Kindness: The ultimate rebellion against bullying.
In light of our current state of crisis, Michael has created a 60-minute webinar designed specifically to help employees manage their wellbeing in the Coronavirus Era. Even before the coronavirus transformed the educational landscape, almost overnight, over 20% of workers suffered from a mental health problem. Uncertainty, increased family time, isolation and financial hardship may exacerbate these problems. Michael's 45-minute webinar (+15 minutes of questions) is especially targeted at organisations that are concerned about their staff and aims to provide them with the skills, knowledge and strategies to manage their own wellbeing during this challenging time.
Sabina Read is a psychologist who works with organisations, groups, individuals, couples and families on relationships, wellbeing, stress, mental health, career development, leadership, change, life transitions, job loss, and parenting. She is passionate about normalising the universality of the human experience, believing that we all have more in common than we often realise.
Sabina will work with your organisation to create a session that provides the support most needed. Some areas of particular interest to Sabina include; adjusting to financial strain, accepting job insecurity, coping with working remotely, creating workable ways and boundaries to share the home, nurturing well-being and supporting mental health personally, professionally, and systemically.
Sabina co-hosts the podcast Human Cogs with entrepreneur and journalist Madeleine Grummet. Each episode features raw conversations with extraordinary guests who reveal what makes them tick, share lessons on living and loving well, and challenge what we think we know about ourselves, each other and the world around us. You can find Human Cogs on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher & Google Podcasts.
Get in touch about Sabina Read
Hunter Johnson is the Founder & CEO of two purpose-driven organizations.
Hunter leads The Man Cave, an emotional intelligence charity that has impacted the lives of 20,000 young men across Australia and is also the CEO of STUFF™, a men's personal care brand that champions healthy masculinity. He also works as an Advisor to The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust (QCT), a charity supporting young people throughout the Commonwealth alongside Prince Harry, the President of QCT.
Hunter's work has led him to present around the world and be recognized as a Finalist for the 2020 Young Australian of the Year Awards (VIC), listed as one of Harper's Bazaar's "Visionary Men of 2019", named a 2018 Queen's Young Leader by Her Majesty The Queen, and 2018 Winner of the EY Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Get in touch about Hunter Johnson
Her powerful and courageous story has catapulted her onto the global stage with organisations all over the world seeking out her expertise on how to cultivate resilience during times of extreme change and uncertainty.
Lucy's superpower is her ability to take the fluff out of wellbeing translating the best of science into actionable strategies for audiences to implement immediately. Her most popular offering at the moment is her Real-Time Resilience Virtual Presentation. This presentation is completely customisable and tailored to the client's needs.
Get in touch about Dr Lucy Hone
He is the founder & CEO of Heart On My Sleeve, one of the fastest-growing mental health organisations and worldwide social movements, and has experienced a lifetime battling a multitude of mental health issues and has a deep first-hand understanding of suffering. Mitch also has a Master’s degree in Psychology from Columbia University in New York, and a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of Sydney. He has studied under Harvard Psychologists, is an accredited Mental Health First Aid Officer & a volunteer at Lifeline.
In the early days of this crisis, Mitch delivered the webinar, Coping with COVID, to thousands of people online empowering them with practical tools and tips on how to support yourself and others through times of uncertainty.
Get in touch about Mitch Wallis
Amanda Johnstone is the CEO and Co-Founder of Transhuman. She is a technologist, inventor and investor, primarily in emerging technologies.
Amanda strongly believes that technology has a significant role to play in reducing the rising suicide rate, as well as increasing the wellbeing and health of the general population on a global scale. Amanda discusses elite human behaviour, addressing and solving concerns including mental ill-health, wellbeing, sleep, performance mindset and nutrition. She provides custom end-to-end strategies for peak performance, combatting executive burnout and navigating connectedness in the remote workplace.
Get in touch about Amanda Johnstone
Osher Günsberg is one of Australia’s most recognisable media personalities who has been a guest in the living rooms of Australian’s for nearly 2 decades.
He shares details of how he navigated his own mental health and has impactful discussions that aim to make each day better than the last by promoting healthy conversations.
Get in touch about Osher Günsberg
An accomplished journalist, television presenter and three-time best selling author, Jessica utilises her platform to ask her audience to accept the power of being vulnerable, of seeking help, and of cherishing moments of joy.
Get in touch about Jessica Rowe AM
Tom Boyd was the country’s best young talent coming through the AFL junior ranks.
In 2013 Tom was selected with pick one of the AFL Draft, by the GWS Giants and realised at a very early stage of his days in the AFL that this career might not be what he had hoped.
In 2019 Tom walked away from his AFL career with 2 years and 2 million left on his contract with the Western Bulldogs to focus on his mental health. Now, Tom shares his story and the techniques he uses to achieve happiness and balance with audiences around Australia, connecting effortlessly with people across demographics and positively impacting people’s lives.
Get in touch about Tom Boyd
The toll the current crisis is having on our collective mental health is significant.
In view of Charlotte’s expertise, she can work with your workforce to provide accessible, neuroscience informed strategies for; coping with uncertainty and anxiety, and strategies for how to manage working and educating within the home environment.
In particular, she can assist you to manage the unique pressures and psychological impacts of: a workforce functioning remotely; working from home as well as educating young people; the ongoing uncertainty and anxiety about the crisis, the actual and potential financial impact of it on individuals, and the physiological impact of these ongoing stressors on our resilience, mentally and physically.
Get in touch about Dr Charlotte Keating
Nasir Sobhani, also known as ‘The Streets’ Barber,’ has earned his affectionate title spending his time taking to Melbourne’s streets offering free haircuts and shaves to the homeless and less fortunate.
Nasir was born into one of few Iranian families living in Japan at the time before moving with his family to Canada as a child. Later in life he struggled and overcame drug addiction, finding sobriety through his supportive family and friends. He pursued his true passion in barbering and has achieved a name for himself in the barbering community. Nasir’s compassion and dedication to humanity touch all who encounter him. His mission to help those feel great about themselves and inspire a clean start is nothing short of impressive.
Get in touch about Nasir Sobhani
Dr Jodie Lowinger is passionate about helping the world to conquer fear and anxiety and build mental strength, wellbeing and success. She is an award-winning Doctor of Clinical Psychology, anxiety thought leader and High-Performance and Mindset Coach to some of Australia’s top business leaders, teams and organisations.
Jodie presents transformational keynotes on smashing anxiety and fear, building resilience, mastering high-performance leadership, building emotional intelligence and a growth mindset. Jodie connects deeply with her audiences through her revolutionary strategies and desire to help people overcome anxiety globally.
Get in touch about Dr Jodie Lowinger
At age 30, Mariam Issa moved to suburban Melbourne from Mogadishu, Somalia while pregnant with her husband and four children. Far away from the tight communities and families in Somalia, Mariam found herself in a foreign country with a foreign language and a culture.
Mariam spent 10 years moving through the stages of depression; the victim phase, an anger phase, before arriving at the activist phase. Through the powerful stories of her trials and tribulations, she has inspired countless people who have had similar experiences to see the butterfly within and achieve their fullest potential.
Get in touch about Mariam Issa
Few people have the drive and dedication of Mitch McPherson.
When his younger brother Ty took his own life in 2013, Mitch, a glazier by trade, turned the devastating loss into the successful suicide prevention charity SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY. It is this phenomenal work which lead to his being awarded Tasmania's Young Australian of the Year in 2017.
Since then, Mitch has spoken to over 600 events which include school groups, workplaces and sporting clubs and is dedicated to spreading the message that nothing is so bad that you can’t talk about it.
Get in touch about Mitch McPherson
Chelsea Pottenger is the dynamic, brilliant and inspirational Director of EQ Minds who is on a mission to empower high performance through greater mindfulness.
For 12-years Chelsea was known for her extraordinary work ethic and as a high performer she delivered results for a variety of big-name organisations. Then a life-challenge happened. In 2015, Chelsea experienced debilitating Post-Natal Depression, which sent her spiralling to the lower depths of mental health. With determination, help and resilience Chelsea bounced back with a new purpose, passion and education.
Chelsea has developed a remote workshop designed to help people thrive in uncertain times. In this session, you can expect to walk away with easily implemented tools to become calmer, less stressed and enhance your productivity.
Get in touch about Chelsea Pottenger
As the founder of The Good Place, Ray Good teaches mental fitness, high performance and mindfulness grounded in neuroscience and positive psychology to help individuals, teams and organisations fight stress, think better and perform at their peak.
Ray is on a mission to create a more mindful world and help fight the global mental health crisis by educating and empowering others to look after their most valuable resource - their minds.
During the COVID-19 crisis, Ray has helped many of Australia’s biggest companies look after their team’s mental wellbeing and navigate the current work climate through his virtual workshops and keynotes.
In 2015, Kylie van der Veer began a quest to recover from her eating disorder, once and for all
After years spent searching for practical advice online for her recovery Kylie van der Veer made the decision to document her journey to recovery expecting it to take a year.
As she discovered, recovery cannot be scheduled and instead it took four years of intensive therapy and treatment. Kylie hopes the documentary produced by herself and her partner, A Peace of Nourishment, will provide other sufferers and carers with a source of the practical advice she wished for.
Resilience and mental health make up just some of the discussions Kylie aims to start through her advocacy.
Get in touch about Kylie van der Veer